Things To Do In Ketchikan, Alaska

More than a million people come to Ketchikan each year! Here are some of the top reasons why:

Nice introduction to Ketchikan, Alaska from the people who live here.


Sport fishing is likely the most popular activity in Ketchikan for visitors AND locals. So much so we dedicated an entire page to it – HERE We’ve provided an interactive map for you to poke around on that includes just about all of the detailed information you could want on fishing in the Ketchikan area.

Eco Tours

Whales and eagles and bears, oh my! Any of the many amazing guided tours, either by kayak, electric bicycle or hiking, will be the best ways to experience Ketchikan. Witnessing Alaskan wildlife in its natural environment, such as paddling next to whales in your kayak and watching bears and eagles feed on salmon, is a truly thrilling experience.

And there is always the opportunity to strike out on your own on any of the many hiking trails around Ketchikan. From an easy stroll around the beautiful and serene Ward Lake to more challenging and scenic hikes like Deer Mountain Trail, there are plenty of leg-stretching opportunities.

Misty Fjords National Monument – by Seaplane

Misty Fjords National Monument with its glassy blue lakes, waterfalls and snowcapped peaks is about 40 miles (64 km) east of town. A seaplane tour will fly you through a low-hanging mist that gives the region its name, take in views of fjords, cliffs and rock walls jutting straight out of the water. Waterfalls cascade down narrow granite passages, and dense forests of hemlock and spruce cover the vertical slopes. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife like wolves, bears, deer and eagles.

If you’re staying with us at Viewtopia Vacation Rentals and would like our recommendations on who to fly you out there, just send us a note.

Experience Alaska Native Art

The Totem Heritage Center (also within a short walk from us) was established in 1976 to house and preserve endangered 19th century totem poles retrieved from uninhabited Tlingit and Haida village sites near Ketchikan and to preserve and promote Native artistic and cultural traditions through traditional classes. The Center is home to 33 authentic poles, numerous historic images, and Native art works. Educational and interpretive tours are available.

Visit Saxman Native Village, Potlatch Park and the Totem Bight State Park, together home to dozens of painted totems plus an Alaskan clan house, cabins, and canoes that re-create a traditional native village. See how totems are actually carved at a workshop!

Lumberjack Show

The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show reflects upon southeast Alaska’s rich logging history and comes to life with thrilling displays of strength and agility. These world champion athletes wearing spiked boots and hard hats compete in 12 athletic events that utilize seven-pound axes, six-foot razor sharp saws, tree climbing gaffs, and souped up chainsaws. Your cheers will turn to roars of excitement as axes fly through the air, men free fall from tall trees, and then run atop spinning logs floating in the water. The show is held in a covered, heated, and cushioned grandstand that includes a rustic lodge gift shop and full concession. This will be one hour of action, excitement, and laughs that is unique to all of Alaska.

Eating, Drinking & Shopping

Being a coastal travel destination, Ketchikan of course knows how to eat and drink! There are many eating establishments that offer fresh salmon, halibut and crab dishes but there are also some good ethnic food choices. There are also several bars with that authentic Alaskan vibe and Bawden Street Brewing is just steps from Viewtopia Vacation Rentals!

There are plenty of shops in Ketchikan with wares ranging from native Alaskan art to outdoor gear. Viewtopia is located so conveniently within walking distance to everything in downtown Ketchikan that you’re sure to find some favorite shopping opportunities… Here is a video demonstrating how close you are to the waterfront and the famous Creek Street shops: